BUDGET & RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS IN KWALE COUNTY

BUDGET & RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS IN KWALE COUNTY

On 28th September 2017, Hakijamii launched a report on “Budgeting in Kwale county and its impact on the realisation of socio-economic rights for the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti”. The report found that the County Government has made efforts to plan for the development of the County, developing the County Integrated Plan 2013-2017 and Annual Development Plans in 2015 and 2016. The priority areas in the development framework are: health, education, agriculture and rural development and water infrastructure. On the budgeting front, the County is still reliant on the National Government for resources, with the local revenue collection having improved slightly between 2013 and 2017. Further, the County Government has still yet to receive from the National Government royalty remittances from titanium mining in Nguluku by Base Titanium as per the 70/20/10 criteria entrenched in the Mining Act 2016.

The result of this failure is the inability of the County Government to plan effectively and budget appropriately to tackle the dire socio-economic conditions of the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti. The majority of the County Government resources are allocated to health and education, but the allocation to water and agriculture are paltry in comparative perspective. In the different priority areas, the intention of the County has been to prioritise allocations for development purposes, but budgetary revisions for each year has entailed the reduction of development budgeting to plug revenue gaps in recurrent expenditure allocations, to the detriment of important developmental goals.

The recommendations is that the County Government of Kwale should strive to allocate and retain more resources for development, to ensure that the socio-economic infrastructure is improved for the benefit of the people of Kwale, especially the vulnerable and marginalised groups like the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti. On public participation, the report found that the County has not effectively entrenched public participation in the budgeting process, especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups such as the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti. As a result, the perception of these communities is that the County planning and budgeting processes have not taken into account their immediate needs and priorities. The truth of the statement is seen in the poor socio-economic state that these communities continue to live in, with basic services such as education, health, water, food security, roads and employment being mostly inaccessible. The report proposes that in order to deal effectively with the socio-economic situation of these vulnerable groups, the County Government of Kwale must recognise their vulnerability and marginality. Subsequent to that recognition of vulnerability, the County Government should develop specific and targeted plans and programs to respond to the dire socio-economic situation of these groups as well as prioritise the allocation of resources to implement these programs. This targeted programing and allocation of resources will ameliorate the dire socio-economic situation of the mining host communities in Nguluku and Bwiti, improving their living standards.